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Choosing a College Roommate

By Meg G.

Finding the right college roommate can feel like finding the proverbial needle in a hay stack. A dorm room is rather small, so finding the right college roommate is crucial to ensure that your life doesn't become a living nightmare. There are many things to consider during the roommate selection process that will help you make the right decision.

Night Person vs. Morning Person

Do you get up early each and every day, or do you habitually hit the "snooze" button until mid-afternoon? What type of class and work schedule do you plan to have? Make sure your roommate follows a similar pattern. You don't want to be responsible for waking someone up every morning—that can make people very irritable. You also don't want to be the one woken up at the crack of dawn, unable to get any sleep. Furthermore, you don't want someone keeping you up late at night, either, if you need to get up for an 8 a.m. class.

Clean vs. Messy

Everyone has different levels of housekeeping that they are comfortable with. Some people like to keep everything organized and clean. Other people don't see a problem with leaving clothes on the floor or dishes unwashed. Make sure you and your college roommate are on the same page. If you are not, the roommate with constant cleaning tendencies will get frustrated with the messy roommate and the messy roommate will get tired of the clean roommate always touching things. This can lead to very explosive arguments and make the college dorm experience not so great.

Religious Beliefs

Finding a college roommate with the same religious beliefs is a factor to consider. If you have specific restrictions or religious practices that you must adhere to, having a roommate that is understanding of these will be a major plus. Discussing religious and political topics can sometimes lead to hard feelings rather quickly, especially if either roommate tries to force their religious or political beliefs on the other.

Study Habits

Do you plan on studying a lot? Do you study well in groups? If so, try to find a college roommate studying a similar major. He or she can become your study buddy and you can help each other keep your grades up. When you are sick, your roommate can keep you up to speed with what is going on in class and what you missed. If you don't like to study, you may not get along with a roommate who loves to study. Your roommate may remind you of your mother, nagging you all the time to hit the books.

You will never find the perfect roommate. There will be arguments, hurt feelings and annoyances. However, keeping certain things in mind when choosing a college roommate will help you avoid conflicts down the road.

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